Even though Opening Day will take place a little more than 24 hours from now against the New York Mets, the Washington Nationals will reportedly get more good news as an announcement is expected to be made about the organization hosting the Midsummer Classic in 2018. This is according to James Wagner of the Washington Post:
"“An announcement is expected before Monday’s season opener to name Nationals Park the host of the 2018 All-Star Game, a person familiar with the situation said. The Nationals host the New York Mets on Monday, and Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred will be on hand to throw out the ceremonial first pitch.” (h/t James Wagner, Washington Post)"
There might have been a hint that this announcement was coming if you were at the exhibition yesterday between the Nationals and Yankees. According to Wagner, there was a new banner out in left field that was covered up.
This would be the first All-Star Game that would take place in the Nation’s Capital since 1969 when the game was at RFK Stadium. It is already a day to be filled with celebrations as the team will begin its tenth season in Washington DC and fans will be excited about rooting for a team that has a legitimate chance to win the World Series this year. With Commissioner Rob Manfred throwing out the first pitch, what more can you ask for from the Opening Day festivities?
If this is the expected announcement, then Major League Baseball will have the All-Star Game at a National League stadium for the fourth straight season. The Reds will host the game this year with the Padres and Marlins to follow in 2016 and 2017. The American League was the home team last season when the Twins were the hosts.
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However, even with the National League stadiums hosting, that does not mean the NL will be the home team for each one of those games. It was announced back in February that the AL would bat last and be the “home team” in the 2016 All-Star Game over at PETCO Park.
Now, the park doesn’t make that much of a difference because, since 2010, this game has been played with both leagues using a designated hitter rather than having the pitcher hit.
As of right now, the only National League Ballpark that would have not hosted an All-Star Game, once the news is official, would be the Philadelphia Phillies and Citizens Bank Park.
This is great news for the Washington Nationals fanbase. Over the last couple of weeks, fans have been using the hashtag #DCIsReady on Twitter to try to get the game to come to Washington DC once the team submitted a bid to be the host for the game back in March. After the success of January’s Winter Classic for the NHL, it seems that Nats Park is ready to host another premiere sporting event. Plus, in 2018, the game could be focused on Bryce Harper. Harper won’t be a free agent until 2019.